8.4/10
778,608
1,481 user 323 critic

Alien (1979)

R | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 22 June 1979 (USA)
Trailer
2:05 | Trailer
After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writers:

Dan O'Bannon (screenplay by), Dan O'Bannon (story by) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
209 ( 40)
Top Rated Movies #53 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tom Skerritt ... Dallas
Sigourney Weaver ... Ripley
Veronica Cartwright ... Lambert
Harry Dean Stanton ... Brett
John Hurt ... Kane
Ian Holm ... Ash
Yaphet Kotto ... Parker
Bolaji Badejo ... Alien
Helen Horton ... Mother (voice)
Edit

Storyline

In the distant future, the crew of the commercial spaceship Nostromo are on their way home when they pick up a distress call from a distant moon. The crew are under obligation to investigate and the spaceship descends on the moon afterwards. After a rough landing, three crew members leave the spaceship to explore the area on the moon. At the same time as they discover a hive colony of some unknown creature, the ship's computer deciphers the message to be a warning, not a distress call. When one of the eggs is disturbed, the crew realizes that they are not alone on the spaceship and they must deal with the consequences. Written by blazesnakes9

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The scariest movie ever made... just got scarier. (UK 2003 re-release) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sci-fi violence/gore and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Harrison Ford turned down the role of Captain Dallas. See more »

Goofs

(at around 2 mins) During the introduction scenes of the Nostromo, the stars in the background are maintained even though the spaceship is shown from different angles. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Brett: This is the worst shit I've ever seen, man.
Parker: What you say? You got any biscuits over there?
Ripley: Here's some cornbread.
Parker: Cornbread. Yeah.
Lambert: I am cold.
Parker: Still with us, Brett?
Brett: Right.
Kane: Oh, I feel dead.
Parker: Anybody ever tell you you look dead, man?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title of the movie is slowly created one line at a time at the top of the screen during the opening credits, starting out with the I, then the forward slash in A and the slash in N, and then the vertical lines in L and E (so it looks like / I I I \). After that, the ensuing lines of each letter are added slowly one at a time until the title is fully visible. See more »

Alternate Versions

In April of 2019 Ridley Scott re-released Alien in 4K HDR for both the Theatrical version and the Director's Cut. The biggest changes to the film made were to the Director's Cut. The Cocoon scene with Dallas was omitted, along with various cuts and additional scenes added in for pacing purposes. For example, the new Directors cut includes the Dallas with Mother scene in which Dallas is informed of his fate which was not in the original 2003 Director's Cut.. Since the re-release of Alien in 4K it has been unclear why Scott continued to market this cut as the "2003" version when in fact it should be labeled on the cover as the "2019" Directors Cut considering the gross amount of previous scenes omitted from the '03 version and the changes made in the new cut. See more »


Soundtracks

Incidental music from 'Symphony No. 2 ('Romantic')'
by Howard Hanson
[Played over end credits]
See more »

User Reviews

Structural perfection matched only by its hostility
20 July 1999 | by oneshotstopSee all my reviews

Director Ridley Scott's well-honed talents of pacing and editing create a tense atmosphere that superbly conveys dread and fear of an unknown, unseen evil entity. In 1979, the technology didn't exist to generate a computer image of a Being from another world, and thank God, because this film would have sucked just like all these post-Alien creature features do. Everyone who loves this movie knows what I'm talking about. Ridley Scott had to be extremely careful not to show a full shot of the Alien, except in very brief scenes, and not to reveal exactly how it moves, because then we would see that it is just some tall, skinny guy in a rubber suit. Nowadays, some computer guy would whip up a really scary-looking, but nevertheless FAKE-looking (yes, computer guys, we can tell) Alien, and the director would not have to even think about trying to breathe life into H.R. Giger's hallucinations to make a successful picture.

The dark, cold beauty of this film will never be equaled.


389 of 539 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 1,481 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Star Beast See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,527,881, 28 May 1979

Gross USA:

$81,765,459

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$108,361,852
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brandywine Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1979 Theatrical Version) | (2003 Director's Cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)| DTS (2003 Director's Cut)| DTS (5.1) (2003 Director's Cut)| DTS (5.1)

Color:

Color (Eastman Kodak)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed